After a dominant display against Switzerland, the Czechs allowed for no surprise in their match against Italy. Team Italy are aiming high in Pardubice and would like to ideally level their best result so far – remember they won bronze medals in 2005 in Pittsburgh! In order to fulfill these ambitions they will have, however, have to improve their performance throughout the tournament.
Italy tried to shock their opponents in the opening minutes in the match, but the Czechs took control later on. In the 5th minute, Ondrej Benedikt opened the score with a shot from the red line. Italy could have bounced back in a power play, but it was Radim Stepanik on the other side who scored for the Czechs to give them a 2-0 lead into the second period.
The Italians opened the second period with some chances, trying to finally convert their power play into a goal, but were again unsuccessful. And so, it was the Czech team who punished them straight away – after a great individual breakaway, Tomas Fejfar set the score to 3-0. The third goal served as a turning point in the second frame, as the game’s focus was only in the Czech attacking period afterwards. A long advantage given and a power play goal for the Czechs eventually made it 4-0 and forced Italy to take a timeout to consolidate themselves.
Team Italy decided to change their goalkeeper, Campisano was subbed for Cusimano, hoping for a miracle in the third period. These hopes were soon diminished, as the Czechs scored 3 goals within 134 seconds in the third period and provided absolutely no rest for the novice in the Italian net. Italy wanted to beat the Czech defence by occasional breakaways, but ever again, the Czechs were the ones scoring goals – Fejfar made it 10-0 for the Czechs, scoring the first hattrick at the 2017 World Championship in Pardubice. Jan Bacovsky moved the scoreline to 11-0 and Radim Stepanik made the final score to 12-0.
Team Czech Republic controlled the match, had a lot of possession and their next match is against USA, tomorrow on June 3rd at 4.30 p.m. This match will certainly suggest how high the Czechs aim. The 2835 fans attending tonight created a stunning atmosphere again, which makes it hard for any team playing against the hosts. Aaron Campisano, the goalkeeper of Italy who faced 34! shots over the first two periods before he was substituted, confirmed this to us: “The Czechs use the crowd very well, they don’t stop moving. It was more than we would expect,” he admitted.
The Italians play Switzerland on Sunday the June 4th. “We have to forget about this, Switzerland didn’t score a goal either, so it’s going to be two teams looking the get their first goal under their belt. We look forward to getting back to our system and we hope to get that goal,” he concluded.